Need help picking a light for a gift

el_chupo_

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My mother in law has started diving recently, and is in need of a good light. Wife wants to get her something for a present, so I have been tasked with looking. I am not familiar at all with what is needed for diving, so I come to to the experts with my hat in hand...

The following is a list of "wants" from her husband, though I dont know what is realistic/practical/needed, etc.

1. Waterproof to 150+ ft.
2. multiple levels - high/low
3. Focus control for flood/spot (not sure if this is needed...)
4. reasonable battery life


On the battery life issue, I was thinking a rechargeable would be great, but this would probably be relegated to a factory rechargeable light - I dont see getting them into much else. Custom builds are probably out as well.

I also have no idea what a reasonable amount of light is for a primary light.

As to a budget, I would like to stay under $300 or so, but throw out any ideas under $500, just so I know what I am looking at/for.

Thank you all!
 

lucca brassi

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Codiak

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Your asking people with specific concerns/bias's in lights... IE we're picky! And that can cost ya.

It all boils down to the divers need and wants vs cost. Given the same dive conditions and skills, two divers can still rationally arrive at justifiable solutions.

Lucca's suggestion is a nice unit and one of the few focusable units.

I'd suggest the Tusa 300 http://www.tusa.com/ap-en/Tusa/Lights/TUL-300_LED
It's small, good battery life, reliable, cheap (~$80) and has a nice fixed beam.
For a novice diver it's a good starting point before figuring out what they really want to spend their money on.

Of course another way to go with a gift would be a gift certificate to her local dive shop.
That way she could spend it on equipment or more training, either way she have more enjoyable dives.
 

lucca brassi

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Codiak .... you don't love yours mother in law .........am I right :devil:

IMO :i think is quite difference in build quality ....and one big no- go is ''Batteries: 2 CR123A Lithium (included)'' other is little small front diameter and low power led inside .

Ok for ''backup'' but i think in that case is this torch '' primary lamp ''
 
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Codiak

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Lucca,
Just my sisters mother in law... Not my own ;)

but you make my point for me.... Different needs for different people... And cost plays a role.

i agree it makes a good backup light for more aggressive divers, but for a part time recreational diver that does a rare night dive.. In tropical water on bright sunny days? It's over kill ;)

so start with reasonable, and then plan how to spend the big bucks.

as for cr123s. Rechargeable a work great, and they fit all three of my water purifiers al well *grin*
 

el_chupo_

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So how to start reasonable, with a mother in law I do like?

Most stuff with be daytime dives, in good water, though in TX some lake dives will occur, and water can be murky.

Is a handheld style a better option, or a spotlight style?

Anything other than a twisty on/off worth looking at?

Is there a practical size that is important, or ergonomically better/easier to handle?

Is there a lumen rating that is really a "minimal" level? I am used to/comfortable with lumen ratings and how they work here above water, but not sure how that translates.

As to batteries, I wouldnt mind CR123 and associated rechargeable, but I dont know that dealing with some of the failures and ordering batteries online is something that will work for her. something from a major mfg would be great, if it was rechargeable.

Thanks for the info so far, I appreciate it!
 

DIWdiver

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These days, 1000 lm is easily achievable in an inexpensive light (at the LED, not OTF, or out the front), as that's what an XM-L will do when pushed to its max spec. A name brand XM-L light will produce anywhere from 500-1200 lm, and reality should be close to the claim, at least with a fully charged battery, while in a no-name, reality would be 300-900 lm, while claims range from 1000 to 1800, and the output is not necessarily closely related to the claim.

I say this because I've built three lights in the 1000 lm region, and I'm happy with the results.

For daylight dives you want lots of light in a tight beam, to light shadowed spots similar to the ambient light. To me, 1000 lm in a tight beam suits the bill in either clear or murky water. Tight beam is less important in clearer water. Wider beams are for dark (i.e. night) dives in clear water, or for photography, or other close work.
The focusing requirement cuts out >90% of what would otherwise be good lights. A daytime diver in anything but very clear water will keep it in tightest focus most the time, so I would recommend abandoning this requirement for a new diver. Once she gets more experience, she'll be better able to articulate exactly what she wants, so a better match can be found.
 
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